When I headed out of Bangkok a couple of weeks ago I was sure that Sukhothai would be the highlight of my little trip to some of the most important historic towns in lower northern Thailand. Though I was wondering if the nightlife in Thailand’s first capital was as exciting as exploring Sukhothai Histroical Park by bicycle. The once bustling and thriving city nowadays has a population of just below 40,000 and I was told by a Thai bar owner on my previous stop in Phitsanulok that most of the region’s young people move to the bigger cities for studying or pursuing well paid jobs.
There is no university or college in Sukhothai and that’s usually a sign that there isn’t much of a thriving nightlife scene in town. But I wanted to figure it out by myself and here we go. After sunset and a few glasses of local whiskey with some local guys on the side of the road in front of my hotel I took a cool shower and went out again, starting to walk around and figuring out what New Sukhothai has to offer after sunset. Most of the streets were dead empty and offered views of just some usual small town out in the province.
Since I didn’t spot any bar or even a Thai karaoke club I decided to walk to the nightmarket (2, note there are two nightmarkets in Sukhothai, see the map below), since this is always the area most of the locals like to hang out in the evening. As I reached the market I did see a lot more people and quite a few cool street restaurants that served beer as well, but no bars. And somehow more farang girls sitting together in those eateries than Thai girls. So I went down another block and eventually found what I was looking for.
Thai Nightlife Area in Sukhothai
The main local nightlife area in Sukhothai with a few indoor and outdoor bars is on Singhawat Road, about 500m from the tiny foreign hotel strip on the eastern Yom riverbank. There is Dream Cafe, which is mainly popular for its “yams” (Thai style salads) that can be enjoyed in their antique style surroundings. I picked one of the few Thai local bars (no English names) that had English live football on a huge screen (projector), Chang Export beer and some of the nicest ladies I’ve seen in town. Have a look at the map below for the exact locations of these places.
Best Farang Bar in Sukhothai
There is really only one 100% Farang oriented bar in Sukhothai. It’s called Chopper Bar and can be found right at the western end of the foreign hotel “strip” on the west bank of the Yom River, see the map above. The place is pretty cool, has live music every night, decent food, fruit cocktails and the usual bar beverages, sees more Farangs than Thais though the waiters (and waitresses) are pretty nice, kind and talkative. See below the short video I took, keep in mind it was September (low season) so it wasn’t too busy at all. The guitar player didn’t mind, he was still happy to play for us for like two hours.
That’s about it for the nightlife scene in Sukhothai. It’s really true that there is a lot more action going on in the bigger neighbour cities like Phitsanulok or Kamphaeng Phet. But if you’re in town like me mainly for visiting the temples, the offer is alright and you now know where to head for the best nightlife spots in Sukhothai.